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A Dirty Dozen with HE WAS A GOD – January 2022

| 1 February 2022 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Southern Connecticut based HE WAS A GOD, featuring members of GENITORTURERS, DEADSTAR ASSEMBLY, ADVA, and others, has released the official lyric video for “Amadeus.” With the lyric video created by Randallhammer, “Amadeus” is off of the band’s hotly anticipated debut EP, The Smile & The Scar. Southern Connecticut’s He Was A God formed in 2019 as an amalgamation of veteran rockers Tony Pellino (Transfixed Movement, Adva), Chris Densky (Genitorturers, Deadstar Assembly, Adva), Ray Zvovushe (King Sexy, Adva), and Dan Perrone (Adva, Odessa). The addition of vocalist Benjamin Curns in summer 2021 rounded out the lineup and set the band on a clear musical trajectory. Thanks to a combination of dynamic riffs, cutting vocal melodies and onstage theatrics, He Was A God built a steady regional following, leading to the release of their debut EP The Smile & The Scar in December 2021. The three-track release tells stories of depravity and desperation, with musical and lyrical odes to the triumph of the human spirit.” We get the band to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Chris: We recently released our debut EP, The Smile & The Scar. I think the recording of this release really solidified the vision that we had while creating this band and the direction we wanted to take this project. Musically there are many layers and details you may not pick up on during the first listen but we’ll leave it to the listener to discover those things.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Chris: One thing that’s unique to this band, is that most of us grew up together, learning music and how to play together. Tony, Dan, and myself, formed our first band when we were music obsessed 10 year olds with Ray joining us later on. Playing music can open up a different world, create a place to escape or release emotion that not many other things are capable of and we’re fortunate that we realized this early on.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Benjamin: For me, a pivotal album in my life was The Real Thing from Faith No More. The album is an explosion of music; it incorporates so many elements from so many genres. That kind of sonic diversity was a real statement to me: let your musical interests take you in any direction you please. Categorization is a tired process that salesmen and media people seem to need, but FNM wasn’t at all interested and sounded just as vital playing thrash (“Surprise! You’re Dead!”) as they did when doing lounge music (“Edge of the World”). The other great thing about that record is that it whetted my appetite for disparate types of music. Because of The Real Thing, my record collection included Slayer, Frank Sinatra, Parliament, Black Sabbath, Burt Bacharach, Mozart, Run DMC, Jane’s Addiction, and Louis Prima. I honestly don’t know if I would have experienced all that great and textured music without the bravery and precision of The Real Thing.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Benjamin: I think if He Was A God could have anyone come and collaborate, I’d wish for Trey Spruance from Mr. Bungle. The guy is ridiculously talented, plays multiple instruments, and seems to have a great sense of humor. I’ve never met him, but I’d love to see him and Tony going back and forth about guitar and synth parts while the songs get weirder and weirder.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

Chris: We all have such varied interests outside of this band, but music is the main focus in all of our lives. Animals, fitness, travel, and martial arts are some of those things but a good cocktail and a joint seem to do the trick to unwind.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Benjamin: Tony insists on calling us a “prog-metal” band, and I agree to some extent. Tony’s compositions certainly don’t follow typical pop song structures, but He Was a God is also not playing twelve-minute epics with seemingly endless soloing either. Progressive, but accessible; aggressive, but melodic; theatrical, but honest.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Dan: These days it’s all business. We get our shit powered up in the rehearsal space and then focus on what needs to get done. Then, like clockwork, we have dinner together. Chris’s mother is an excellent chef. We’re lucky enough to have her nearby, and she loves to cook for us. She made this batch of enchiladas the other night that I’m still thinking about. Every so often she’ll do roasted Asian chicken thighs with honey, soy sauce, some sambal oelek, paprika. Garnishes it with scallions and sesame seeds. It’s next-level shit. Anyway, Tony’s in the beer business so the refrigerator is always handsomely stocked. Sometimes Chris will play mixologist and throw together a mean old fashioned. Everyone leaves happy.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

Benjamin: We recently met Corey Glover from Living Colour when we were supposed to open for his band Disciples of Verity. The gig ultimately got cancelled (violence in the venue shut it down), but he was super cool and signed my copy of LC’s Time’s Up. Living Colour was my second concert ever and they have not lost a damn step. They are incredible performers and Corey’s power has not diminished in the slightest. He’s a great talent and Living Colour’s records always taught me about more than just music.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Chris: Being a musician and touring is something unlike anything else I can think of. Its definitely gratifying being an artist and creating something out of nothing whereas touring is almost the equivalent of being a pirate – traveling from city to city with your friends while facing the challenges and indulgences that every day may present. It’s all I’ve ever really wanted to do.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

Dan: I’ve always wanted an interviewer to ask me if I have any pre-show rituals. The answer would be no.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Chris: Its hard to pinpoint something that we would want to do differently with He Was A God still being in its infancy. We did try to keep everything with our newest release in house from the full recording process to artwork etc.. I think that provided a lot of lessons that will aid us moving forward.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Benjamin: I wouldn’t want to insert myself into the recording of any of my favorite albums as it would no doubt change how that record came out. Part of what I love about music is hearing new things, things I never would have considered.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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